Fresh off a less-than-stellar series in which they dropped three of four games to the New York Yankees, the Boston Red Sox were handed the perfect opponent Monday night to help end the skid.
The Red Sox opened up a three-game series with the Toronto Blue Jays, who have resided at the bottom of the American League East standings for a good chunk of the season. Not to mention, the Red Sox have had great success against the Blue Jays this season, as they were 10-3 against Toronto in 2017 entering Monday.
Rick Porcello got the start for Boston, making his second straight start against the Jays. Porcello shined in his last outing at Rogers Centre, tossing 6 2/3 innings in which he allowed just one run on six hits with seven strikeouts. Unfortunately for the Red Sox, though, Porcello couldn’t duplicate that performance at Fenway Park, as the right-hander was shelled for seven runs on 10 hits over just 5 1/3 innings in a 10-4 Red Sox loss.
After the game, Porcello took full responsibility for his lackluster performance and understood the opportunity missed against a struggling Jays lineup that he dominated less than a week ago.
“Obviously I’m disappointed in my performance and definitely take full responsibility for our loss today,” Porcello said, as seen on NESN’s Red Sox postgame coverage. “I think more importantly with a late game last night and coming out here, I was probably the only one that was fresh out of all of our guys. To go out there and do what I did is disappointing.”
With the regular season winding down and the battle for the division crown heating up, many believe the Red Sox have started pressing. While Porcello didn’t pull punches about Monday’s loss, he made it clear that pressing was not the issue.
“We flat-out got our asses kicked,” he said. “There’s no pressing there. It was a poor pitching performance on my part, that was pretty much it. Give up seven runs in five, six innings — it’s tough for anyone to come back from.”
Boston will have several advantageous opportunities to get back to its winning ways, as it only faces two opponents with winning records in the remainder of the regular season. But as the series-opening loss to the Blue Jays showcased, no game is a cake walk, and the Red Sox need to capitalize against their mediocre opponents.
Here are some other notes from Red Sox-Blue Jays.
— Putting runs on the board has been a major area of struggle for Boston of late, as the team is 4-for-41 with runners in scoring position in its last five games.
— The Sox now have lost four straight games at Fenway Park, their first four-game slide at home since June of 2015.
— Eduardo Nunez was the lone bright spot at the plate for Boston, going 2-for-5 with three RBI. It marked Nunez’s sixth three-plus RBI game this season, four of which have come with the Red Sox. The veteran infielder had just seven three-plus RBI performances entering the season.
Thumbnail photo via Bob DeChiara/USA TODAY Sports Images